It's something out of pulp fiction, the super formula that wrecked a world! How insidious:
Probably fearing the first round of assassins, or at least torch-equipped neopeasants.
There's a lesson in futorology here. Partly it's the problem of drawing on too small a sample (and only in boom time!). Partly it's black swan time:
How many pulp fiction and Gothic elements can we spot? Mad science on the march... menacing super-genius from the East... insidious mind viruses...